Roos run away with district X-country title

KISD/Todd Martin - The Killeen boys cross country team took first place at the District 25-4A meet Thursday at Killeen’s Long Branch Park.

By Kevin Posival

Killeen Daily Herald

Postponed once already because of rain, and still soggy from showers Monday and Thursday morning, wet conditions slowed down the field at the District 25-4A cross country meet at Long Branch Park.

Slowed down, maybe, but it didn't stop DreVan Anderson-Kaapa and Alonso Rivera from finishing 1-2 and leading the Roos to their third straight district championship.

Anderson-Kaapa retained his individual title from last year in 16 minutes, 53.55 seconds. Rivera, who finished first at the District 16-4A two years ago as a freshman and fourth last year, finished in 17:15.86.

"I didn't even want to beat (Rivera), I just wanted to make sure our team solidified," said Anderson-Kaapa, a senior. "I wasn't going to let up for anything. I felt like I was going slow already, might as well finish with a bang, just bring it in. Alonso brought it in. The 1-2 punch was good."

Killeen placed five in the top 10, including sophomores Spencer Davis (6th, 18:06.92) and Jalen Wade (9th, 18:23.09) and junior Matthew Rodell (10th, 18:36.20) and return to the Region IV-4A meet at Brooks City Base Golf Course in San Antonio on Nov. 7.

"That's the best thing you can have in a team," Rivera said of having Anderson-Kaapa set the team's pace. "Having someone that's pushing you all the time. That's all you need."

Pflugerville Hendrickson, which combined with Killeen last year for 10 of the top-20 finishes, placed second and Austin Lake Travis finished third.

The top three teams and top 10 individuals advance to the region meet in hopes of making the state meet at Old Settlers' Park in Round Rock on Nov. 15.

The Lake Travis girls beat Hendrickson for the girls' title with the top three finishers, led by sophomores Abby Colety (13:16.64) and Sara Beirne (13:24.94).

Despite finishing sixth overall, the Lady Badgers, who won the district championship last season with four of the top-10 finishers, had Tiffany Fagg (13:48.19) and Ashley Moore (13:54.85) qualify for the region meet with their eighth- and ninth-place finishes, respectively.

Fagg, who was in fourth for a good portion of the race, finished ninth at last year's meet but was overtaken by the strong, last-legs of the front-runners.

"I didn't know I couldn't sprint very well. I was too tired, I pushed it to the max (early)," said Fagg, who's a junior.

"It was very wet and muddy ... very pushing,"

Killeen sophomore Kayven Sambula finished 12th (14:03.15) to lead the Lady Roos to their fifth-place finish and Jonathan Lohmann was the sixth-place Badgers' top finisher in 23rd (20:25.38).

The race was supposed to be run Monday morning, but was postponed because of showers that drenched the area all morning. The course was still wet from rains in the overnight hours before Thursday's race and the soggy terrain slowed times.

"I wanted to run (Monday) in the rain and the water. I thought it would be real cool ... the team was so ready to go, so pumped up," said Anderson-Kaapa. "So then we waited until (Thursday) and I think we kind of lost our ju-ju, we lost our hype but we still came out here and we knew what we had to do. We've got a job to do and we did it."

Contact Kevin Posival at kposival@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7562.

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